July 28, 2014
SITUATION REPORT

Despite a request yesterday by President Obama to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire and a Security Council demand late last night for a cease-fire, Israeli officials refuse to pause hostilities and reportedly plan to expand their offensive in Gaza.
Strained US Ties Seen as Israel Rejects Cease-fire Pleas
An Israeli army Merkava tank rolls along the border between Israel and the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip on July 28, 2014. (David Buimovitch/AFP/Getty Images)
Stranger Than Fiction: Airliner Disaster Prompts Russian Propaganda Machine
July 28, 2014
What are the odds of two commercial passenger jets of the same make and belonging to the same airline company both disappearing from the skies and radar screens under unknown circumstances and only months apart?
In Global Markets, Gold Is All That Glitters
July 28, 2014
Special Economic Analysis
by Peter Warburton, PhD


Ten years ago, gold investors were considered to be mavericks: relics of the Great Depression era, fearing the imminent breakdown of civilization or the outbreak of war. Since then, the appeal of gold has broadened considerably. Central banks were net sellers of gold in 2004 and are net buyers today. Gold miners sold their production forward in 2004, but not now. The breakthrough for gold is the greater investment allocation by global fund managers seeking to manage portfolio risk.

New Caliph Wins Few Converts but ISIS Army Poses Major Threat
July 25, 2014
Amidst the furor over the Israel-Hamas war and the horrific downing of a Malaysian airliner over eastern Ukraine, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is suddenly yesterday’s news. But ISIS and its leader, the self-proclaimed Caliph Ibrahim, also known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, itself a nom de guerre, remain center stage in the Middle East.
German-Russian Warming Ties Threatened by Airline Disaster
July 25, 2014
Summary

Germany’s warmer relations with Russia and cooler ones with the United States and Europe have characterized Berlin’s foreign and trade policy during recent years. Commercial and political ties to Russia have been strengthened, most significantly in vigorous opposition to any meaningful European economic sanctions against Russia for annexing Crimea and supporting pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine.

Indonesia's President-Elect Faces Tough Road to Reform
July 25, 2014
Indonesian president-elect Joko Widodo is a popular regional governor and a darling of international investors. Nevertheless, he may struggle to overcome the numerous challenges facing Indonesia’s $1.29 trillion economy and has the daunting task of convincing less-than-friendly lawmakers to support a difficult reform agenda.
China Plants Flag in US Backyard With Canal Contract
July 24, 2014
A competitor to the Panama Canal to be built in nearby Nicaragua is worrisome not for its dubious economics but rather its builder: China will construct the massive, 172-mile waterway at a cost of $40 billion, while Russia will provide security during the years-long project, all in an area considered by the United States to be its continental backyard.
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